Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Early Telephone Service in Sandusky
An article by Harvey Butler from the Twin Anniversary Edition of the Sandusky Register and Star News, from November 24, 1947 reported that in 1884, there were more than four hundred telephones in operation in Sandusky, Ohio. Four operators worked to handle all the connections from those phones. From the early part of the twentieth century until about 1922, there were two telephone companies in Sandusky. The Central Union Telephone was located on Washington Row, and the Sandusky Telephone Company was on the fourth floor of the Kingsbury Block (Columbus Avenue and Washington Row). There were two exchanges at that time. Central Union Telephone customers used the Bell exchange, and the Sandusky Telephone Company used the Harrison Exchange. Dr. Henry Graefe’s listing in the 1919 Sandusky City Directory had two phone numbers, so that customers from either company could contact his office. His phone numbers were: Bell Main 75 and Harrison 57. About 1921, the Central Union Telephone Company changed its name to the Ohio Bell Telephone Company. By 1923, there was only one telephone company in Sandusky, the Ohio Bell Telephone Company. These switchboard operators were working at Ohio Bell in 1930.
Information posted on this picture states that in 1930 there were 75 switchboard operators who handled 45,000 calls from 9,700 Sandusky subscribers.
In 1984, Ohio Bell became a part of Ameritech, which later became SBC/AT&T. Of course, millions of individuals all over the world now use cell phones. On several occasions the Ohio Telephone Pioneers, a non-profit organization made up telephone employees and retirees, held their annual meeting at Cedar Point.